Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar Opens in Southie
Starting on the evening of January 20, you can get a first glimpse at Lincoln Tavern owners Michael Conlon and Eric Aulenback’s newest concept, an oyster bar and Baja-style taqueria, right across the street from their original South Boston restaurant. Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar takes over the former Pan Asia space and will serve a variety of street tacos, ceviche, grilled fish, and fresh guacamole.
Erica Diskin of Assembly Design Studio—the designer who led the charge on the branding, buildout, and marketing of Conlon’s latest venture—says the group has been looking for real estate since last summer, and was ecstatic when the Pan Asia building opened up last October. Assembly Design completed gutted the former space and focused on a “raw brick and beam feel” with banquettes built from reclaimed wood and a bar face constructed from antique ceiling tiles found in New Hampshire.
“We just wanted to provide something different to the neighborhood, something that Lincoln wasn’t currently providing,” says Diskin, who was also part of Lincoln Tavern’s opening team. “Our general manager, Mike Shaw [also a co-owner in Loco Taqueria], spent a lot of time out in Arizona and California and saw that there were all these different styles of Mexican food that weren’t available here. That’s why we’re not doing traditional enchiladas, burritos, or any heavier fare. We’re keeping it light, almost like a Southern California take on Mexican food.”
“Fresh” is the word thrown around most by Loco Taqueria’s team when describing their food, and you can see that theme played out all over chef Nicholas Dixon’s menu. Tuna, sea bass, and diver scallop ceviches are presented on shaved ice flavored with Thai basil, habanero, and mango. Salsas like the mango habanero, charred pineapple, and smoked tomatillo are all made in-house. Cocktail components like grenadine and orgeat are another in-house contribution. Even the citrus and fruit juices used in the range of margaritas are pressed fresh daily.
On the beverage side of things, Loco Taqueria focuses on Mexican beers, Spanish wines, tequila-based cocktails, and a wide selection of mezcal to complement its selection of food. Local alternatives include Bantam and Downeast ciders, Harpoon IPA, and Newburyport Brewing’s Plum Island Belgian white. The restaurant will be open daily from 5 p.m to 1 a.m., and will not be accepting reservations.
412 W. Broadway, South Boston; locosouthboston.com or 617-917-5626.